Friday, June 21, 2013

Is there an end to this tunnel?

The pressure is on to get this house into some sort of decent/habitable condition.   Mainly the pressure comes from myself. I don't think my wife is too anxious to move into a construction site, but I am sick of making mortgage payments on a house I cant live in.  Over 1.5 years now!  We have identified two must-fix issues that we absolutely must get resolved before we move in.

1. The bees have got to be removed. - We found a beekeeper.  Now I just need to get him up to the bees (30ft) so that he can do his work.

2. We need a new water heater.  Of course, I cant bring myself to just replace it with a regular tank.  Instead we are upgrading to tankless.  (difficult install and more $$$$).  This will require a new electrical circuit, which I have now completed installation of.  Next week I should be able to order the new unit.


And that would allow us to at least occupy the space.  Still no kitchen.  Our cabinetes are still slowly getting built.  We have new stove.  We have a new sink.  Once the cabinets are done then we could actually install them...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Home Invasion

Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic.  I'm not talking about the ski-mask, gun-toting type of home invaders.  Instead I'm talking about critters.  We have been feeling a bit attacked/overwhelmed lately...

  1. The greenhouse was infested with wood-boring carpenter ants...
  2. Yesterday we caught the 4th bat in the house this year.
  3. The bee hive has returned which is causing some bees to find their way into the house.
We are trying to take it all in stride.  The greenhouse is under control and I have bought boric acid to dust in all the cracks and crevices to try and kill any other colonies. 

We have no idea how the bats are getting the house.  We get guano accumulation on the front porch, but we cant fund any evidence of them roosting in the area.

The bees have been evaluated by a local beekeeper.  We have come up with a plan to get them removed.  I just need to buy a bunch of scaffolding so that the beekeeper can do his work 30-foot up...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This greenshouse will be the death of me!

As loyal readers will know, our house has a little 10x10 greenhouse on the second story.  It is positioned over the kitchen addition and has been the focus of our attention recently as we have attempted to address water leaks.  These leaks have been holding up the progress on the kitchen remodel.

A few weeks ago we tackled a tear-off and replacement of the flat roof adjacent to the greenhouse.  That project required tearing off the 2nd story wood sitting deck, 3 layers of rotted roof decking and then rebuilding it all. To our dismay, some of the water leaks continued.  This drove us to take a closer look at the greehouse as the source of the leaks.  What we found is astonishing:

The tools and other junk in this picture are sitting on a built-in planter box.  We had to open it up to try and get a closer look at the back wall. Unfortunately we couldn't get to the problem area so the decision was made to demolish the planter box.

The demo work on this house never ends! The planter box was well built. The copper lining contained the water from the plants and should fetch a pretty penny at the scrapyard.

Extension rot from moisture and carpenter ant infestation!

The rot turned out to be WAY more extensive than anyone guessed.  This knee wall holds up the glass ceiling.  All of the wood... the studs, the double top plate and the bottom plate are completely disintegrated, except for one stud.  The wood just turns to mulch as soon as you touch it. We cant really figure out how this thing didnt collapse.